Israel’s new defense minister Lieberman blasts Israel-Turkey talks as ‘opportunism’

Israeli Defense Minister Avidgor Lieberman

JERUSALEM – Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman strongly opposed the normalization of ties between Israel and Turkey on Friday, saying that the covert talks in Switzerland constitute “political damage already done.”

“Opportunism is no substitute for a balanced and smart policy,” Liberman fired, in statements at the 2015 Former Soviet Union (FSU) Limmud event at Kibbutz Ginosar. “[Turkish President Reccep Tayyip] Erdogan is the leader of an Islamist radical regime.”

“Turkey trades with ISIS (Islamic State), invaded Iraq against all international laws and now is in conflict with Russia,” he continued. “It will also affect relations with Egypt, and I have difficulty seeing Erdogan will give up his demands regarding (lifting the naval blockade on) Gaza and all Turkish investments in Gaza at Egypt’s expense.”

Liberman also dismissed claims that the normalization process will allow Erdogan to buy Israel’s natural gas, noting that there are already enough exports that Israel has planned for its natural gas wellspring, particularly Greece and Cyprus.

Late Thursday night, Turkish officials revealed that Israeli and Turkish officials held normalization talks in Switzerland, with “understandings” reached although no formal deal has yet been forged between Jerusalem and Ankara.

Source: Arutz Sheva

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